Welcome to the August 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Friends
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about friends.
How do you teach a preschooler to be a friend that others want to have? I mean, our daughter is nearly 5. She only rarely uses her manners without being reminded. I realize that most kids don't really care about manners, but... she cries and screams on occasion. She cried at our unschooling coop last week because a girl wouldn't let her play with a toy that was special to her. She cries and screams when its time to leave an event that includes other children. I try to give her a countdown, I try to soothe her. None of it makes much difference. It seems like the only thing that helps is if we have something exciting to go do afterward, especially with a friend. That can't happen every time, its not possible. You have to go home eventually!
There is one girl that she thinks of as her best friend. I would like her mother to become my new BFF as well. They are the most peaceful people I have ever met! But the little girl doesn't want to play with Sasha... not until she moves past her "loud phase." It breaks my heart - for both of us. Sasha asks me, often, when we're going back to her house. How do I help her understand? How do I help her learn from this? She's never been terribly empathetic or even sympathetic to others, so there's that hindrance as well. Its only been recently that she even started to notice if I'm crying.
Tyler had a "bestie" by the time she was 2.
Perhaps getting an extra early start helped.
All that said, I think she's just still at a phase where her emotions are bigger than she can manage. And when they hit her - she lets the world know! There are a couple of other girls in our circle close in age that are equally emotional (and loud). This helps me to realize and recognize that she is at a "normal" stage of development. I want to support her expressing her emotions, but... I also don't want her to be a friendless outcast. The screaming isn't pleasant for me, either!
Is it possible to hold off on a social life until social skills are in place? I don't think so. But how do you maintain a social life for a child with poor (or undeveloped) social skills?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
Sibling Revelry — At Natural Parents Network, Amy W. shares her joy in witnessing the growth of the friendship between her two young children.
Making New Mama Friends — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama muses on how she was able to connect with like-minded mamas and form deep friendships both in 'real life' and online. Learn how these life-long friendships, both between Jennifer and other mothers but also between Jennifer's daughter and the other children, formed and flourished.
Arranging friendships in a modern world — From a free-range childhood to current parenthood, how can an introvert like Lauren at Hobo Mama navigate the newly complicated scheduling of playdates and mom friends?
Mommy Blogs: Where Moms Make Friends — Mothers make friends with other mothers in new ways. The options from earlier decades remain, but new avenues have sprung up with mommy bloggers. Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. at Parental Intelligence shares her thoughts.
Consciously Creating My Community: Monthly Dinners — How have you intentionally created community? Dionna at Code Name: Mama's goal for the year is to cultivate community. One way she's done that is to help organize two different monthly dinners with friends.
Adults need imaginary friends, too — Tat at Mum in Search shares why it's a good idea for adults to have imaginary friends. You get to meet Tat's friend and download a playbook to create your own.
I was contacted by Block Island Organics about reviewing their products. It was a timely offer, being that it is Summer and we've recently discovered that Spencer has PMLE (Polymorphous light eruption - he's allergic to the sun). I was also moved by the fact that Block Island Organics is a very small company, founded by a brother / sister team.
Complimentary products were provided for review. This post contains affiliate links that support this blog at no additional cost to you. Thank you!
The main item I tried (several times) was the Baby Block SPF30 Sunscreen. It is described as "a zinc only organic, lightweight, non-nano and mineral based sunscreen safe for babies over 6 months and sensitive skin types."
It was important to me that the sunblock is nano particle free, but it is also non-comedogenic, vegan formula, paraben free, and phthalate free! It contains no artificial fragrance at all (I hate perfumes). It is not tested on animals and its made in the USA. Lots of winning reasons to love it... as long as it works!
Our first trial of baby block was on the 4th of July. It seemed a good time to really put the product to the test. I was a little nervous trusting Spencer's PMLE to sunblock instead of just limiting sun exposure, but it was a holiday and we had company coming to hang out in the back yard.
This sunblock absolutely absorbed easily into my son's skin and left barely any oily residue on my hands at all. (Don't you hate that part?!) It didn't stink or pile up on top of our skin.
As you can see (and in case you're new here), Spencer has very fair skin.
I only applied Baby Block one time, before we headed outside. I would say that he spent approximately 3 daylight hours playing outside. He did not burn at all. (Its the burn that later turns into a rash with his PMLE.) I also applied this product to my two-day-old tattoo.
I really slathered it onto my fresh tattoos!
While I did not get a sunburn on my arm at all, I did go against my tattoo shop's specific instructions. I was told to keep tattoo out of the sun until it was healed. When completely healed, sunblock may be used to protect the tattoo in the sun. The zinc made my tattoos cloudy. I do not blame Block Island Organics for this damage in the slightest. The blame falls solely on myself for not following instructions... which I didn't have handy that day. (I will be getting my tattoo fixed up, no worries.)
On another occasion, I tested Baby Block on a zoo trip. We only stayed there for 2-3 hours. Again, no burn!
I absolutely recommend this product to friends and family! I love to support small business and the product performs as promised. Block Island Organics also makes 3 other sunblock products with varying SPF ratings. I will say that calling it "zinc only" seemed misleading, but honestly: using nothing but zinc would not have been the same pleasant experience at all. It has to be in a carrier / cream. I will continue to trust my son's delicate skin to Block Island Organics, as well as my entire family's skin! Just don't use sunblock on fresh tattoos!
You can purchase your own Baby Block through Amazon or directly from Block Island Organics (who offers free shipping on all orders over $50). This product (6 oz) will run you $24.99, regardless of which source you choose. A little really does go a long way, though.
And just for Momma Jorje readers, Block Island Organics is giving a 20% discount on all orders from now through 8/07/2014. Enter code jorje during the ordering process. This code may not be combined with other special offers.
Disclosure: I received a free sample for review purposes.
Links may be affiliate links. Amazon links are affiliate links.
I try to seek out only products I think you would find relevant and useful.
If I don't like a product, I won't recommend it.